Preparedness for Children

Disaster Checklist for Families

  • Comfort Items: stuffed animal, doll, pacifier or blanket
  • Personal Hygiene: baby wipes, feminine products, diapers, nursing pads
  • Children’s Activities: books, puzzles, games
  • Infant Nutrition: nursing supplies, formula, pre-packaged baby food
  • Medical needs: infant/child fever reducer, rash ointment
  • Family meet-up: Pick a safe spot to meet if separated such as a local school or library
  • Out-of-towner: A family contact who would not be affected by a local school or library
  • ICE: Cell phones should have “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) programmed into their contacts
  • Text: Text messages can often get through, even when a phone call can’t
  • Contact school or day care: Ensure they know what your child is supposed to do in case of an emergency

Once your family is out of harm’s way, children can still be frightened or confused. Here are some tips to help them feel safe again:

  • Limit TV time: Intense media coverage of disasters can frighten young children and disturb teenagers as well.
  • Listen: Find out your child’s concerns about the situation.
  • Comfort: Let them know their safety is your top priority.
  • Be aware: Changes in sleeping, eating and other behaviors can indicate distress.  Seek professional support and counseling if they persist.
  • Make time: Help kids understand they’re safe and secure by talking, playing and other family activities.
  • Keep calm and carry on: Your child will learn how to deal with these events from you.
  • Care: Make a point of showing sensitivity toward other families impacted by the disaster.
  • Routine: Help your children return to normal activities including school, sports and play groups.
  • Volunteer: Helping others can give your child a sense of control, security and empathy

For more information on preparing children for emergencies please see the following:

FEMA’s Ready Kids 

Sesame Street’s Let’s Get Ready 

(Source: www.savethechildren.org on behalf of www.ready.gov)